Academic journal article Journal of Third World Studies

Kaplan, Robert D.: Asia's Cauldron the South China Sea and the End of A Stable Pacific

Academic journal article Journal of Third World Studies

Kaplan, Robert D.: Asia's Cauldron the South China Sea and the End of A Stable Pacific

Article excerpt

Kaplan, Robert D. Asia's Cauldron The South China Sea and the End of A Stable Pacific. New York : Random House, 2014. pp. 225.

The South China Sea is a major crossroad of the world's maritime commerce and the islets there are claimed by a half dozen countries. There are oil, natural gas and seafood resources all over the South China Sea and all the nations in the region want access to them. Several nations have placed military forces on the islets and occasionally there are armed clashed. Recently, China has asserted her claim to the entire region, which most South East Asian nations find troubling if not threatening. Could a war break out in the South China Sea one day that could draw in Japan and the United States at some point?

Robert Kaplan explores these issues in Asia's Cauldron. Based largely on his travels there and numerous interviews, this book is a bit disorganized and based on limited research. Nonetheless, Kaplan asks some important questions. He notes the growing power of China and how this impacts the countries in the region. Kaplan believes the era during which the United States dominated the Pacific is ending. He explores the possibility that the United States and China will clash sat some point in the future. Kaplan believes China can have a meaningful role in Pacific affairs. The question which he cannot answer, at present, is whether China actually desires that.

Kaplan surveys the nations in the region a country at a time. He clearly admires Singapore's authoritarian government and perceives the Philippines as a nearly failed state. …

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